Shrimp You're Eating Might Be an Impostor

30% is mislabeled across US, group finds
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 30, 2014 2:34 PM CDT
Updated Nov 2, 2014 7:00 PM CST
Shrimp You're Eating Might Be an Impostor
A fisherman picks through a pile of shrimp on his boat in Grand Isle, La.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Before biting into that pricey "wild" shrimp caught in the ocean, know that there's a pretty good chance it might taste like rubber because it came from a farm instead. A new study by the advocacy group Oceana suggests that 30% of shrimp sold across the US is mislabeled, reports the AP. The group looked at 143 samples from more than 100 restaurants and supermarkets and discovered that shrimp marketed as wild or from the Gulf is sometimes anything but. Often, it turns out to be common whiteleg shrimp from farms in southeast Asia.

New York City is the worst offender, with 43% of samples turning out to be incorrect. "Things are mislabeled at the import level, the wholesale level, the retail level," an Oceana scientist tells Quartz. "Without more transparency, it’s really hard to nail down where the stuff you end up buying came from—and where that species substitution occurred." A Louisiana woman who runs a family shrimp fishing business agrees. "I've been shouting this for ages," she tells the AP. (Previous surveys have shown that fish of all kinds are routinely mislabeled.)

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